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Correctional Officer Salary (United States)

It's impossible to make it big as a Correctional Officers in the United States; the average employee scrapes together only around $35K per year. Earnings generally vary between $24K and $57K per year. Residence is the main element affecting pay for this group — the company and experience level are driving factors as well. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. Male Correctional Officers are far more common among survey respondents than their female counterparts, who typically comprise less than one-third of the field. Most people in this profession are content with their work, and moderate levels of job satisfaction are reported. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Correctional Officer Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$24,653 - $60,549
(Median)
25K
35K
45K
61K
MEDIAN: $34,989
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Correctional Officer Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$10.49 - $22.56
(Median)
10
13
15
19
23
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$24,653 - $60,549  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,037  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,474 - $57,321  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 959
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$10.49 - $22.56  
   
Overtime
$14.20 - $39.55  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,037  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,474 - $57,321  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 588
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Job Description for Correctional Officer

A correctional officer works at a prison, jail, or similar institution. They are responsible for maintaining the safety and control of all persons remanded to the custody of the facility. The help ensure and enforce all procedures and regulations as required by the jurisdiction and management.
Read More...
Correctional Officer Tasks
  • Responsible for transporting or moving prisoners.
  • Receive and secure prisoners until their release.
  • Maintain security of the jail or institution.
  • Supervise prisoners and maintain security, rules, regulations and cleanliness in correctional facility.

Common Career Paths for Correctional Officer

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Though some Correctional Officers move into positions like Registered Nurse (where the average salary is $55K), this progression is not the norm. Becoming a Corrections Officer is, more often than not, the most common role that Correctional Officers move into when they're ready for the next step in their career. The average salary for the position is $36K. Another frequent advance is for Correctional Officers to assume a Security Officer role; in this role, workers often earn $25K.

Correctional Officer / Jailer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Correctional Officer

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Dept. of Corrections, and The GEO Group, Inc. are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Correctional Officers. Those at NYSDocs can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $59K. Other leaders in compensation levels are Federal Bureau of Prisons at $48K, Oregon Department of Corrections at $46K, and Arizona Department of Corrections, where Correctional Officers annually earn $41K.
Other low-paying employers include Georgia Department of Corrections at $27K and The GEO Group, Inc. at $30K, though some Correctional Officers there earn up to $46K.

Survey takers who work as Correctional Officers report a focused set of job skills. Most notably, facility with Safety Compliance and Oral / Verbal Communication are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 49 percent and 3 percent, respectively. Safety Compliance and Security Policies and Procedures are also commonly seen together.

Pay by Experience Level for Correctional Officer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For many Correctional Officers, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $32K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $36K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $39K. After two decades in the workforce, the average Correctional Officer generally earns more than ever; median pay for this group is estimated at $47K.

Pay Difference By Location

San Diego
up arrow 75%
Los Angeles
up arrow 72%
Chicago
up arrow 61%
New York
up arrow 36%
Phoenix
up arrow 19%
Baltimore
up arrow 17%
Salem
up arrow 17%
Miami
up arrow 14%
Indianapolis
up arrow 6%
Orlando
up arrow 3%
Houston
0%
National Average
$34,000
Atlanta
up arrow 4%
Raleigh
up arrow 14%
Oklahoma City
up arrow 19%
Columbia
up arrow 25%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For those looking to make money, Correctional Officers in San Diego enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 75 percent above the national average. Correctional Officers will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+72 percent), Chicago (+61 percent), New York (+36 percent), and Phoenix (+19 percent). Correctional Officers in Columbia report much lower salaries than the rest of the country — 25 percent below the national average — proving that residence is a major factor in overall pay. Below-median salaries also turn up in Oklahoma City and Raleigh (19 percent lower and 14 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Correctional Officer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 35%
Experienced
up arrow 13%
Mid-Career
up arrow 5%
National Average
$34,000

Skills That Affect Correctional Officer Salaries

Safety Compliance
up arrow 49%
Oral / Verbal Communication
up arrow 3%
People Management
up arrow 2%
Security Policies and Procedures
0%
National Average
$34,000

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 253 votes.

Gender

Female
29%
female alumni
 
Male
71%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 88% dental benefits Dental: 72%
vision benefits Vision: 61% employee benefits None: 10%